• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Frontispiece
 Front Cover
 Dedication
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 Jungle peace
 Sea-wrack
 Islands
 The pomeroon Trail
 A hunt for hoatzins
 Hoatzins at home
 A wilderness laboratory
 The convict trail
 With army ants "somewhere" in the...
 A yard of jungle
 Jungle night
 Index














Title: Jungle peace
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Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00074130/00001
 Material Information
Title: Jungle peace
Physical Description: 6 p. 3-297 p. : front., plates. ; 20 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Beebe, William, 1877-1962
Publisher: H. Holt and Company
Place of Publication: New York
Publication Date: 1918
 Subjects
Subject: Natural history -- Guyana   ( lcsh )
Description and travel -- Guyana   ( lcsh )
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by William Beebe
General Note: "With three exceptions these chapters have appeared in the pages of the Atlantic monthly."
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00074130
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000610321
oclc - 24821204
notis - ADD9487

Table of Contents
    Frontispiece
        Frontispiece
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Dedication
        Dedication
    Table of Contents
        Table of Contents
    List of Illustrations
        List of Illustrations
    Jungle peace
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Sea-wrack
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 16a
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 28a
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
    Islands
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 46a
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
    The pomeroon Trail
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 70a
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 86a
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
    A hunt for hoatzins
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 118a
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
    Hoatzins at home
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 134a
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
    A wilderness laboratory
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 146a
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 162a
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
    The convict trail
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 186a
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 202a
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
    With army ants "somewhere" in the jungle
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
        Page 215
        Page 216
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 221
        Page 222
        Page 222a
        Page 223
        Page 224
        Page 225
        Page 226
        Page 227
        Page 228
        Page 229
        Page 230
        Page 231
        Page 232
        Page 233
        Page 234
        Page 235
        Page 236
        Page 237
        Page 238
    A yard of jungle
        Page 239
        Page 240
        Page 241
        Page 242
        Page 242a
        Page 243
        Page 244
        Page 245
        Page 246
        Page 247
        Page 248
        Page 249
        Page 250
        Page 251
        Page 252
        Page 253
        Page 254
        Page 255
        Page 256
        Page 257
        Page 258
        Page 259
        Page 260
        Page 261
        Page 262
    Jungle night
        Page 263
        Page 264
        Page 265
        Page 266
        Page 267
        Page 268
        Page 268a
        Page 269
        Page 270
        Page 271
        Page 272
        Page 273
        Page 274
        Page 275
        Page 276
        Page 277
        Page 278
        Page 279
        Page 280
        Page 280a
        Page 281
        Page 282
        Page 283
        Page 284
        Page 285
        Page 286
        Page 287
        Page 288
        Page 289
        Page 290
        Page 291
        Page 292
        Page 293
        Page 294
    Index
        Page 295
        Page 296
        Page 297
Full Text










































The Peace of the Jungle






JUNGLE PEACE




BYv
WILLIAMJE BE
Curator of Birds, New It Joological Park, and
Director of Tropical Bsearch Station



















NEW YORK
HENRY HOLT AND COMPANY
1919















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H. OLT A .1A-.


HENRY HOLT AND COMPANY


TM ouINmN a mooN 00. puM
.APwAY, .. A.


























TO
COLONEL Anw MRS. THEODORE ROOSEVELT
I OFFER THIS VOLUME WITH DEEPEST FRIENDSHIP


\ 1,(,-\ c-











CONTENTS


CHAPT
I

II
III

IV
V

VI

VII

VIII

IX


PAGE
3

5

. 33
33

66

. 92
123

140

177


EB
Jungle Peace

Sea-wrack .
Islands

The Pomeroon Trail

A Hunt for Hoatzins
Hoatzins at Home .

A Wilderness Laboratory

The Convict Trail

With Army Ants Som
Jungle

A Yard of Jungle .

Jungle Night .

Index ...


lewhere in the
211

S 239

263
263
295


r~rk

~












ILLUSTRATIONS


The Peace of the Jungle
Where the Sargasso Floats
Mont Pelee .
Sunset in the West Indies .
A Guiana Shore .
A Tropical Roadside .
A Hoatzin Swamp


PAGE
Frontispiece
.. 16
. 28
S46
S70
S86
S118


Nestling Hoatzin Climbing with Thumb and
Forefinger 134
The Laboratory in the Jungle . 146
A Corner of Kalacoon Laboratory . 162
The Edge of the Jungle 186
Jungle near the Convict Trail . 202
Pit Number Five 222
Canello do Matt--the Tree of the Birds 242
The Jungle 268
A Watcher in the Jungle 280






















JUNGLE PEACE
















E













JUNGLE PEACE

AxE=R creeping through slime-filled holes be-
neath the shrieking of swift metal, after splashing
one's plane through companionable clouds three
miles above the little jagged, hero-fillec ditches,
and dodging other sudden-born clouds oi nau-
seous fumes and blasting heart of steel, after
these, one craves thoughts of comfortable hens,
sweet apple orchards, or ineffable themes of
opera. And when nerves have cried for a time
'enough' and an unsteady hand threatens to
turn a joy stick into a sign post to Charon, the
mind seeks amelioration-some symbol of worthy
content and peace-and for my part, I turn
with all desire to the jungles of the tropics.
If one looks the jungle straight in the face
and transcribes what is seen, there is evolved
technical science, and until this can be done with
accuracy and discretion, one can never feel
worthy now and then, of stealing quietly up*





JUNGLE PEACE


side aisle of the great green wonderland, and,
as I have done in these pages, looking obliquely
at all things, observing them as actors and com-
panions rather than as species and varieties;
softening facts with quiet meditation, leavening
science with thoughts of the sheer joy of exist-
ence. It should be possible occasionally to
achieve this and yet to return to science en-
riched and with enthusiasm, and again to play
some little part in the great physical struggle-
that wonderful strife which must give to future
peace and contentment new appreciation, a
worthier enjoyment.
It is possible to enter a jungle and become
acutely aware of poison fang and rending claw
-much as a pacifist considers the high adven-
ture of righteous war. But it is infinitely &ore
wonderful and altogether satisfying to 'slip
quietly and receptively into the life of the
jungle, to accept all things as worthy and
reasonable; to sense the beauty, the joy, the
majestic serenity of this age-old fraternity of
nature, into whose sanctuary man's entrance is
unnoticed, his absence unregretted. The peace
of the jungle is beyond all telling.













SEA-WRACK

SUSPENDED in the naked air eight thousand
feet above New York, I look down and see the
city and its inhabitants merged into one. From
this height the metropolis is less interesting and
hardly more noticeable than many tropical ants'
nests which have come under my observation.
Circling slcwly earthward, I have watched the
city split apart into its canyon streets, and have
finally distinguished the caterpillars which I
knew were trains, and the black beetles which
must be automobiles. Last, and apparently
least, were resolved a multitude of tiny specks,
weird beings all hats and legs, which were un-
doubtedly themakers and owners of these beetles
and worms and canyons.
In many similar bird's-eye-views of the city
one phase of activity always amuses and thrills.
Circling as low as I dare, bumped and jolted
by the surging uprush of invisible spouts T6





JUNGLE PEACE


warm air, I head, like a frigate-bird, straight
into the teeth of the wind and hang for a time
parallel with the streaming lines of gray and
white smoke. Near the margin of the city
where the glittering water reaches long fingers
in between the wharves, a crowd of people
push, antwise, down to the brink. Many bur-
dened individuals pass and repass over slender
bridges or gang-planks, for all the world like
leaf-cutting ants transporting their booty over
twigs and grass stems. Then comes a frantic
waving of antennae, (or are they handker-
chiefs), and finally part of the wharf detaches
itself and is slowly separated from the city.
Now I can mount higher to a less dangerous
altitude and watch the ship become a drifting
leaf, then a floating mote, to vanish at last
over a curve of the world. I cease chuckling
into the roar of my motor; my amusement be-
comes all thrill. The gods shift and change:
Yoharneth-Lahai leaves me, and in his place
comes Slid, with the hand of Roon beside me
on the wheel. I hasten hangarwards with the
gulls which are beating towards their roosting
sands of far Long Island beaches.
SOn some future day I in my turn, scurry up

ifI





SEA-WRACK


a gang-plank laden with my own particular
bundles, following days of haste and nights of
planning. I go out on the upper deck of the
vessel, look upward at a gull and think of the
amusing side of all the fuss and preparation,
the farewells, the departure, which sufficient
perspective gives. And then I look ahead, out
toward the blue-black ocean, and up again to
the passing gulls, and the old, yet ever new
thrill of travel, of exploration, possesses me.
Even if now the thrill is shared by none other,
if I must stand alone at the rail watching the
bow dip to the first swell outside the harbor,
I am yet glad to be one of the ants which has
escaped from the turmoil of the great nest, to
drift for a while on this tossing leaf.
At the earnest of winter-whether biting frost
or flurry of snowflakes-a woodchuck mounts
his little moraine of trampled earth, looks about
upon the saddening world, disapproves, and de-
scends to his long winter's sleep. An exact
parallel may be observed in the average pas-
senger. As the close perspective of home, of
streets, of terrestrial society slips away, and his
timid eyes gaze upon the unwonted sight of a
horizon--a level horizon unobstructed by aty





JUNGLE PEACE


obstacles of man's devising, mental and physical
activity desert him: he hibernates. He swathes
himself, larva-like-in many wrappings, and en-
cases himself in the angular cocoons furnished
for the purpose at one dollar each by the deck
steward; or he haunts the smoking room, and
under the stimulus of unaccustomed beverages
enters into arguments at levels of intelligence
and logic which would hardly tax the powers
of Pithecanthropus or a Bushman.
From the moment of sailing I am always im-
pressed with the amusing terrestrial instincts of
most human beings. They leave their fellows
and the very wharf itself with regret, and no
sooner are they surrounded by old ocean than
their desires fly ahead to the day of freedom
from this transitory aquatic prison. En route,
every thought, every worry, every hope is cen-
tripetal. The littlenesses of ship life are magni-
fied to subjects of vital importance, and so per-
ennial and enthusiastic are these discussions that
it seems as if the neighbor's accent, the daily
dessert, the sempiternal post-mortem of the
bridge game, the home life of the stewardess,
must contain elements of greatness and good-
ness. With a few phonograph records it would





SEA-WRACK


not be a difficult matter to dictate in advance a
satisfactory part in the average conversation at
the Captain's table. The subjects, almost with-
out exception, are capable of prediction, the
remarks and points of view may be anticipated.
Occasionally a passenger detaches his mind
from the ship and its doings long enough to take
note of something happening beyond the rail-
some cosmic phenomenon which he indicates
with unerring finger as a beautiful sunset, fre-
quently reassuring himself of our recognition by
a careful enumeration of his conception of the
colors. Or a school of dolphins undulates
through two mediums, and is announced, in a
commendably Adam-like, but quite inaccurate
spirit, as porpoises or young whales. Mercury,
setting laggardly in the west, is gilded anew
by our informant as a lightship, or some phare
off Cape Imagination. We shall draw a veil
or go below, when an "average citizen" begins
to expound the stars and constellations.
All this is only amusing, and with the limited
interest in the ship and the trip which the usual
passenger permits himself, he still derives an
amazing amount of pleasure from it all. It is a
wonderful child-like joy, whether of convine-


l





JUNGLE PEA


ingly misnaming stars, ent ally playing
an atrocious game of shuffle-: >r estimating
the ship's log with methods L.uning mathe-
matical accuracy, but hopeless financial results.
All these things I have done and shall doubt-
less continue to do on future voyages, but there
is an additional joy of striving to break with
precedent, to concentrate on the alluring possi-
bilities of new experiences, new discoveries, on
board ship.
If the vessel is an oasis in a desert, or in
a waste of waters as is usually announced at
table about the second or third day out, then I
am a true Arab, or, to follow more closely the
dinner simile, a Jonah of sorts, for my interest is
so much more with the said waste, or the things
in it and above it, than with my swathed, hiber-
nating fellow mortals.
Precedent on board ship is not easily to be
broken, and much depends on the personality
of the Captain. If he has dipped into little-
known places all over the world with which you
are familiar, or if you show appreciation of a
Captain's point of view, the battle is won. A
few. remarks about the difficulty of navigation
of Nippon's Inland Sea, a rebuke of some


I





SEA-WRACK 11
thought;'- )tt at table who hopes for a storm;
such tb:' )on draw forth casual inquiries
on his ,-_, L:d when a Captain begins to ask
questions, the freedom of the chart-room is
yours, and your unheard-of requests which only
a naturalist could invent or desire, will not fail
of fulfilment.
I am off on a voyage of two weeks to British
Guiana and I begin to ponder the solution of
my first problem. The vessel plows along at a
ten-knot rate, through waters teeming with in-
teresting life and stopping at islands where
every moment ashore is of thrilling scientific
possibility. By what means can I achieve the
impossible and study the life of this great ocean
as we slip rapidly through it-an ocean so all-
encompassing, yet to a passenger, so inaccessible.
Day after day I scan the surface for mo-
mentary glimpses of cetaceans, and the air for
passing sea birds. Even the rigging, at cer-
tain seasons, is worth watching as a resting
place for migrating birds. The extreme bow is
one of the best points of vantage, but the spot
of all spots for an observer is the appropriately
named crow's nest, high up on the foremost.
You have indeed won the Captain over to your





JUNGLE PEACE


bizarre activities when he accords permission to
climb the swaying ratlines and heave yourself
into that wonderful place. It is tame enough
when compared with piloting a plane among the
clouds, but it presents an enormous expanse of
ocean compared with the humble deck view.
Here you can follow the small whales or black-
fish down and down long after they have
sounded; with your binoculars you can see every
detail of the great floating turtles. And when
the sun sinks in glory which is terrible in its
grandeur, you may let it fill your senses with
wordless ecstasy, without fear of interpretive
interruption. Save for the other matchstick
mast and the spider-web ratlines, the horizon
is unbroken.
Many years ago I spent a night in the torch
of the Statue of Liberty and each time I dozed,
the twenty odd inch arch through which the
lofty structure swayed, awoke me again and
again, being changed, behind one's closed lids,
into a single motion, apparently that of a
gradually accelerated fall to earth. In the
INerow's nest, when the ship is rolling, I can
'etn conjure up the same feeling when my eyes
are shut, but now I react to a new stimulus


12





SEA-WRACK


and instinctively reach for a steering rod, as
the sensation is that of a wing slip, consequent
upon too slow progress of an aeroplane.
Among the luggage which I take on board
is invariably a large, eight-pronged, iron grap-
ple, with a long. coil of rope. These the stew-
ards eye askance when they place them in my
cabin, and hold whispered consultations as to
their possible use. It is by no accident or
chance that before the third day I have won
the attention and a certain amount of interest
of the Captain and have obtained permission to
put his vessel to a novel use. About the fourth
day, from the upper deck or the ship's bow, I
begin to see floating patches of seaweed-gulf-
weed or sargasso as it is called. For the most
part this appears as single stems or in small
rounded heads, awash with the surface. But
as we proceed southward larger masses appear,
and then, with my assistant, I get my crude
apparatus ready. We fasten one end of the
coil of rope to the rail of the lowest open deck
forward, and then I mount the rail, securing
a good grip with legs and feet. As a cowboy
on a fractious horse gathers the loops of is
lariat for the throw, so I estimate my distance





JUNGLE PEACE


and balance myself for the propitious moment.
Now if not before, the audience gathers. It is
flattering to see how quickly my performance
will empty the smoking room, put an end to
bridge games and fill the deck chairs with
deserted, outspread yellow-backs. As danger-
ous rival attractions, I admit only boat-drill and
the dinner gong!
My whole object is of course to secure as
much as possible of the sargasso weed together
with its strange inhabitants, and to this end I
have tramped the decks of steamers with the
patience of the pedestrian of Chillon. I have
learned the exact portions of the vessels where the
strain is the least, and where the water, outflung
from the bow is redrawn most closely to the
vessel's side. I have had overheavy grapples
dragged from my hand and barely escaped fol-
lowing the lost instrument. I have seen too-
light irons skip along the surface, touching only
the high spots of the waves. As one drops one's
aerial bomb well in advance of the object
aimed at, so I have had to learn to adjust
the advance of my cast to the speed of the
ship.
I make throw after throw in vain, and my




SF


SEA-WRACK 15
audience is beginning to jeer and to threaten to
return to the unfinished no trumps, or the final
chapter of "The Lure of Love." Near the
water level as I am, I can yet see ahead a big
'slick' of golden brown, and I wait. But the
bow dips farther and farther away and I almost
give up hope. Then I look up appealingly to
the bridge and catch a twinkle in the Captain's
eye. Even as I look he motions to the wheel-
man and the second succeeding dip of the bow
slews it nearer the aquatic golden field. Still
more it swings to starboard and at last crashes
down into the very heart of the dense mass of
weed. The frothing water alongside is thick
with the tangle of floating vegetation, and it is
impossible to miss. I throw and lean far over,
dragging the grapple until its arms are packed
full. Then with all my strength I draw up,
hand over hand, leaning far out so it will not
bang against the side, and dump the dripping
mass on the deck. My helper instantly frees the
prongs and I make a second cast and get
another rich haul before the last of the
field of weed drifts astern and tarnishes
the emerald foam of the propeller churned
waje.





16 JUNGLE PEACE
For a few minutes there is wild excitement.
My audience dances and shouts with enthusiasm
from the upper rails, members of the crew
appear and help me pursue agile crabs and flop-
ping fish about the deck. Even the surly old
mate roars down news of another batch of weed
ahead, and I curb my curiosity and again mount
my precarious roost.
In the course of several days I acquire a
wonderful sunburn, considerable accuracy in
flinging my octodont, and finally a series of
tumblers of very interesting specimens, which
furnish me with many new facts, and my fellow
passengers with the means to kill much of that
embarrassing concomitant of ocean voyages-
time.
An amazing amount of fiction and nonsense
has been written about thesargasso weed, but
the truth is actually more unbelievable. Though
we see it in such immense patches, and although
for days the ocean may be flecked with the
scattered heads of the weed, yet it is no more
at home in mid-ocean than the falling leaves in
autumn may claim as their place of abode,
the breeze which whirls them about, or the moss
upon which at last they come to rest. Alow.





































Where the Sargasso Floats





SEA-WRACK


the coast of Central America the sargasso weed
grows, clinging, as is the way with seaweeds, to
coral and rock and shell, and flowering and
fruiting after its lowly fashion. The berry-like
bladders with which the stems are strung, are
filled with .gas and enable the plants to maintain
their position regardless of the state of the tide.
Vast quantities are torn away by the waves and
drift out to sea and these stray masses are what
we see on every trip south, and which, caught in
the great mid-ocean eddy, form the so-called
Sargasso Sea. Just as the unfailing fall of
dead leaves has brought about a forest loving
clique of brown and russet colored small folk-
frogs, crickets, lizards, birds and mammals which
spend much of their life hiding beneath or liv-
ing upon the brown dead leaves, so this never-
ending drift of weed has evolved about it a little
world of life, a microcosmos of great intimacy,
striving by imitation of frond and berry and
color to avoid some of the host of enemies for-
ever on the lookout.
It is possible to place a bit of weed in a
tumbler of salt water and have a dozen people
examine it without seeing anything but a yellow-
ish brown frond with many long, narrow leaves





JUNGLE PEACE


and a number of berry-like structures, Here
and there are patches of thin ivory-white shells
-tiny whorls glued closely to the surface of the
leaves. Yet on this same small piece of weed
there may be several good-sized crabs, slug-
like creatures, shrimps and a fish two or three
inches in length. Until they move, the eye is
powerless to detach them. No two are alike;
the little frog-fish is mottled and striped, with
many small flabby filaments, and apparently
ragged fins, with curious hand-like fore limbs
which clutch the fronds closely. The pipe-fish
and sea-horses are draped and ragged, and
splashed with yellow and brown, the slugs are
simply flaccid stems or leaves, and the crabs are
beyond belief, living bits of weed. Some are
clear yellow, others are mottled, others again
have white enameled spots like the small masses
of tiny shells. The little shrimps are mere
ghosts of life, transparent, yielding to every
movement of the water-altogether marvelous.
Then there are other beings, blue like the sea,
white like the foam, or translucent bits of dis-
embodied organs. This is all absorbingly won-
derful, but the unreality of this little world's
existence, the remembrance of its instability is





SEA-WRACK


always present, and the tragedy of the immedi-
ate future looms large.
The weed along the coast is honest growth,
with promise of permanence. The great float-
ing Sargasso Sea is permanent only in appear-
ance, and when finally the big masses drift, with
all their lesser, attendant freight into the gulf
stream, then life becomes a sham. There can
be no more fruiting or sustained development
of gas-filled berries. No eggs of fish or crabs
will hatch, no new generation of sea-horses or
mollusks appear among the stems. Bravely the
fronds float along, day by day the hundred lit-
tle lives breathe and feed and cling to their drift-
ing home. But soon the gas berries decay and
the fronds sink lower and lower. As the current
flows northward, and the water becomes colder
the crabs move less rapidly, the fish nibble less
eagerly at the bits of passing food. Soon a
sea-horse lets go and falls slowly downward, to
be snapped up at once or to sink steadily into
the eternal dusk and black night of deeper
fathoms. Soon the plant follows and like all its
chilled pensioners, dies. The supply from the
Sargasso Sea seems unfailing, but one's sym-
pathies are touched by these little assemblages,





JUNGLE PEACE


so teeming with the hope of life, all doomed
by the current which is at once their support,
their breath and their kismet.
But all these creatures, interesting as they
are, form but a tithe of the life existing around
and beneath the ship. Night after night I lean
over the bow and watch the phosphorescence flare
and flash beneath the surface, the disturbance
of the steamer's approach springing a myriad
of these floating mines, whose explosions, gentler
than those of human make, merely vibrate into
a splendor of visibility. How to capture these
tiny beings which the eye can scarcely resolve is a
matter far more difficult than the netting of the
seaweed. I try to plan, then give it up. I walk
restlessly over the vessel, seeking some method.
But, as is often the case, nature had fairly to force
the solution upon me. Thoreau says somewhere,
"A trout in the milk is pretty good circum-
stantial evidence," and in similar guise I saw the
light. Early one morning I was paddling in my
salt-water bath, thinking of the coming week
when I should be able to dive into island harbors
from the deck, when I sat up suddenly at the
sight of a tiny fish disporting himself with me
in the tub. At least I needed no further hint,





SEA-WRACK


and as I scooped up the little being my plan waq
made. By exhaustive inquiry among the femi-
nine portion of the passengers I obtained pos-
session of a small square of a very fine-meshed
fabric something like bolting cloth. In the
evening, with the assurance of a small monetary
liaison with the bath steward, I tied this bit of
cloth over the salt-water nozzle and carefully
set the faucet so that a dribble of water trickled
forth. In the morning the cloth strainer con-
tained a small blob of grayish jelly. This I
dropped into a tumbler and saw the water cloud
with an opalescent mist of a myriad motes and
I knew that my plan was successful. No matter
how tempestuous the sea, or at what speed the
ship throbbed through the water, I would always
be able to gather any amount of the wonderful
floating life of the ocean-the phosphorescent
plankton-for my microscope. Again, aside
from my own edification, I was able to give
some thrills to my fellow passengers, and I have
had twenty or more lined up for a squint at
the weird things of the open sea. In spite of
my reassurances, there was reported to be less
enthusiasm for the daily bath, and much sus-
picious inspection of the clear ocean tub water





JUNGLE PEACE


Sa result of glimpses of the concentrated cos-
mos in my tumblers.
S I can recall many similar diversions and dis-
coveries of new possibilities of life on board
ship, but one brings memories of especial de-
light. Next to the crow's nest the bow is, for
me, the place of greatest joy-the spot where
each moment one's eyes reach forward into a
trackless, unexplored field of view; a heaving,
translucent No Man's Land, fraught with
potentialities such as sea-serpents. Long had
I pondered the possibility of getting nearer the
fascinating bit of unbroken water just ahead.
At last a scheme unfolded itself, but not until
a following trip when I had made all prepara-
tions did I venture to ask permission of the
Captain. For I knew better than to wish to
add anything to the responsibility of this offi-
cial. When he had become used to my eccentric
use of the deck and the bath tubs, I unfolded
my new plan, and thanks to my preparation,
Smet with no opposition. I had a waistcoat
made of stout leather straps, with a heavy
ring behind to which I attached a strong rope.
This tethered to the rail, in the extreme bow,
enabled me to swarm safely down until I





SEA-WRACK 28
reached the flukes of the great anchor. Seating
myself comfortably, I lashed my leather straps
fast, and was ready for work with glass or net
or camera. Of course this was possible only on
comparatively calm days, but when the sea was
mirror-like, with only the low, heaving swells
bending its surface, and the flying fish flushed
before us in schools, then I had days of good
sport.
This novel method of anchor perching led
indirectly to the solution of a very different
puzzle. I had been thinking and talking of the
congested turmoil of the great city far below
the horizon to the north. Looking back op a
year in its midst, memory, aroused by present
contrasts, registered sham, insincerity, deceit, il-
lusion, veneer as dominant notes in civilization.
In an argument one evening I had held that
deceit or illusion was not of necessity evil, nor
when unconsciously self-imposed, even repre-
hensible.
The next day I instanced a rather apt ex-
ample. Our very knowledge, our mental mas-
tery leads us to false sensory assertions, which
become so universal that they develop into ap-
parent truisms. Only by a distinct effort may





JUNGLE PEACE


we summon them to consciousness and correctly
orient them. It is not without a wrench that
we set aside the evidence of our senses and
realize the proof which physics offers. We
watch the glorious "sunset" and to disillusion
our minds require to repeat again and again
that it is the earth which is heaving upward,
the horizon which is eclipsing the sun and the
sky of day. I once persuaded a group of pas-
sengers to speak only of the evening's "earth-
rise" and in three or four days this term had
become reasonable, and almost lost its strange-
ness.
One finds numerous examples of these sensory
deceits at sea; our senses are at fault in every
direction. The wind flutters the fins of the fly-
ing fish and we think they actually fly. The
tropic sea, under the palest of green skies, is
saturated ultramarine, save where the propellers
churn it to pea-green, yet in our bath the water
is clear and colorless.
My most interesting oceanic illusion, was a
personal one, a result of memory. I looked
about the ship and felt that this at least was
wholly sincere; it was made to fulfil every
function and it achieved its destiny day by day,





SEA-WRACK


finally and completely. I had never sailed on
a vessel of this name before, the "Yamaro,"
and yet at certain moments an oblique glance
brought a flash of memory, of a familiar hatch-
way, a rail which fitted snugly under one's
elbows, a stretch of open deck which seemed
too much of a known path for these few days'
acquaintance. As I talked with the Trinidad
negro lookout on the forward deck, I saw a
brass coolie plate roll out of the galley, and I
wondered. There were only negroes among
the crew. Then one day I donned my leather
waistcoat and climbed down to my anchor flukes,
and my mystery was solved. In clear new
letters the name of the vessel appeared
along the side of the bow above me, but a
second glance showed me something else:
a palimpsest of old corroded sites of four
letters, painted out, which once had sent
their message to so many inquiring eyes:
Pegu.
Long ago, on trips of unalloyed happiness, I
had traveled between Colombo and Rangoon
on this selfsame steamer, which now, caught in
some unusual stress of distant demand of war,
had with her sister ships- been. takeA' .rom her





JUNGLE PEACE


route in the Far East and settled to her new
routine.
So even the ship beneath me was not what
she had seemed, and yet her deceit and illu-
sion were harmless, wholly without guile, and
I began to wonder whether my unfriendly
thoughts of the great city behind me were quite
fair.
The carven Wodens and Briinnhildes who
guarded the fortunes of old Viking ships,
watched the icy Arctic waters forever cleft
beneath them and felt the sting of flying splin-
ters of ice; the figureheads of Gloucester mer-
chantmen of old, with wind blown draperies and
pious hands, counted the daily and monthly
growth of barnacles, and noted the lengthening
of the green fronds on the hull below. One day
I lay in the great arms of an anchor, beneath a
prosaic bow; myself the only figurehead, peering
gargoyle-wise over the new-painted steel. Far
below, in place of wooden virgin or muscled
Neptune, there appeared only four numbers, 2,
3, 4 and 25. Even these, however, yielded to
imagination when I remembered that the light
cargo which made them visible was due to the
need of sugar 1y' solaiefs:i','far distant trenches.
'





SEA-WRACK


The great unlovely bow rose and reached for-
ward and settled until, as I lay face downward,
our speed seemed increased many fold. And I
wondered if the set wooden expression which
always marked the figurehead ladies and gods
had not its origin in the hypnotic joy of forever
watching the molten cobalt crash into alabaster,
this to emerald, then to merge again into the
blue which is a hue born of depth and space
and not of pigment. And now I forgot the
plunging bow beneath and the schools of toy
biplanes, the strange little grasshopper-like fish
which burst from the ultramarine, unstained,
full-finned and banked sharply outward for their
brief span of flight. I looked up and saw pale-
green shallows, a thread of silver surf and the
rounded mountains of a tropical island. And I
frowned with impatience-something that more
reliable figureheads never did-for the island,
teeming with interest, with exciting birds, and
fascinating people, had been spoiled for me.
Force of circumstance had shuffled me inex-
tricably into a pack (I use the simile advisedly)
of insufferable tourists. Effeminate men, child-
ish women and spoiled children diluted or wholly
eclipsed every possible scene. The obvious





28 JUNGLE PEACE
was made blatant, the superfcial was imagined
subtle, the glories of silent appreciation were
shattered by garrulous nothings. At the
thought of such fellow countrymen I hid my
face and strived with all my might to obliterate
the remembrance. Soothed by the rise and
thrust of the great ship's bow and the inter-
mittent roar of the steel-born breaker beneath, I
rested motionless.
When at last I roused, it was with a start at
the altered scene. It seemed as if my thought
-Buddha-powerful-had actually wrought the
magic of widespread change. The alabaster
breaker was there, but oxidized, dulled; the
cobalt had become gray-black, and by the same
alchemy the emerald shallows were reset with a
mosaic of age-dimmed jade. Most of all was
the island changed. From strand to cloud-
capped peak, the tone was purple. In high
lights it hued to dull silver-gray, in the shadows
it deadened to utter black. Rugged and sheer
Mont Pelee drew upwards, its head in cloud,
its feet in the sea-the shadow-gray sea. My
eye strove to penetrate the cloud and picked
from its heart a thread of black among the
gray lava, which, dropping downward, enlarged






.4 ~p ~


.*j .

4T .~ ''


Mont Pelee






SEA-WRACK 29
to a ribbon and then to a gully. In ugly angles
and sharp, unreasonable bends it zigzagged down
the shoulder of the great cinderous mountain.
Before I realized it my gully became a gorge
and ended at the edge of the dark waters, as
black and as mysterious as it had begun.
Idly, I lay and watched the silver shuttle of
coral-shattered foam weaving the warp and
woof of the rising tide along the whole length
of shore. This seemed the only bit of land
in the whole world. Was it the first-or the
last-to appear above the waters? It might
have been either, until, suddenly I saw a
movement among what I had taken for huge,
crater-spewed boulders, but which I now knew
for the weathered remains of a city. From be-
tween two walls of this city of the dead came
slowly into view the last human being in the
world-or so the surroundings suggested. Yet
a second glance belied this, for her mission was
fraught with hope. Even at this distance I
could discern her stately carriage, swinging and
free, her black countenance and her heavy bur-
den. At the very edge of the water she stopped,
lifted down the basket piled with black volcanic
debris and emptied it. She stood up, looked





JUNGLE PEACE


steadily out at the passing steamer and vanished
among the shadows of the ruins. It was star-
tlingly like the first grain of sand which an ant
brings out after a passing heel has crushed
its nest. But however vivid the simile, the domi-
nant thought was hope. At least one ant had
faith in a new ant-nest of the future, and the
somber picture of the negress, her basket of
black lava poured into the equally black waters,
was suddenly framed in high relief by the
thought of a new St. Pierre. The great
mountain still rumbled and smoked. One
at least believed in a home in its very
shadows.
But the end was not yet. The island had
been for me unhappily visited; its passing had
been a sudden, wonderfully dynamic vision.
And now I shut my eyes again to strive to in-
terpret and to fix indelibly in mind this vision
and all the network of thoughts it wove. Again
the roar from below and the gentle rise and for-
ward surge calmed and rested me. And the
thought of the unhappy morning was become
dim and carried no resentment.
Ten minutes later I looked up again and
found all changed-no ruthless, startling shift





SEA-WRACK


of values, but a subtle, all-wonderful transfor-
mation. Pelee should still have loomed high,
the craters and gullys were but a short distance
away and indeed all were faintly discernible.
A faint veil of azure had intervened. There
was no wind, it had neither drifted in from
the sea nor frayed from the edges of the
dense cloud which enveloped the peak. So
evanescent, so delicate was this still-born haze
that the crater cloud was only softened, not
eclipsed. From the strong sweep and stroke
anu virile outline of a Brangwyn or the
gnomesque possibilities of a Rackham, the great
mountain softened to the ethereal air cas-
tle of a Parrish. Between winks, as imper-
ceptibly as the coming of twilight to a cloudless
sky, the vision changed to a veritable Isle of
Death. This seemed too evanescent, too ether-
eally fragile to endure, and yet for moment
after moment it held and held-and then the
mountain-which was yet but the shadow of a
mountain-this itself dissolved, and over the
gently heaving sea, were neither lava flows nor
cinders, gorges nor ruins, but only a faint
pearly-white mist, translucent, permeable, float-
ing softly between sea and sky. Martinique





S3 JUNGLE PEACE
had vanished-had dissolved-there was no
longer any land above the waters.
Dusk settled quickly and the vision remained
unbroken. All my sensory relations with the
world seemed inverted. My actual contact with
the island had passed into happy forgetfulness;
the coastal vision was more vivid and real, and
now, the essence of memory, the vital, tangible
retrospect was forever bound up in the final
vanishing, the very evaporation of this island-
lapped by the sea-the sea which tomorrow's
sun would fill with the glorious hue of sapphires
-the sapphires of Kashmir.













ISLANDS

WITH thrice seven-league boots one could
stride from the coast of the United States and
with a dozen steps reach British Guiana dry-
shod. From an aviator's seat, the chain of West
Indies, Windward and Leeward Islands curves
gracefully southwards, like stepping-stones
across a Japanese stream. If, corresponding to
this annihilation of space, we could abbreviate
minutes, hours and days as in a moving-picture
film, we might have the edifying spectacle of
our steamer's trip reduced to a succession of
loops, ricochetting from island after island, as
a stone skips along the surface of the water,
sliding along those dotted lines which are so
characteristic a feature of coasts in our school
geographies, and coming to rest at last with a
splash in the muddy current off the Georgetown
selling.
Our steamer is preferable to the seven-league





JUNGLE PEACE


trip, for we thereby omit the big, cumbersome
West Indies. It is a curious fact that any land
projecting above the surface of the water is in-
teresting and exciting in inverse ratio to its
size. The endless New Jersey shore moves one
not at all, while the single volcanic cone of
Nevis brings thrills and emotions; Cuba is
wearisome as one steams slowly past headland
after headland, while Sombrero-a veritable
oceanic speck of dust-stimulates the imagina-
tion to the highest pitch. It seems as if our
Ego enlarges as our immediate terrestrial cos-
mos diminishes. In studying the birds of the
endless jungles of the South American conti-
nent my interest never flags, yet it never quite
attains the nth power of enthusiasm which ac-
companies the thought of the possibility of locat-
ing every nest on St. Thomas. This love of
small islands must savor of the joy of possible
completeness in achievement, plus a king's sen-
sations, plus some of those of Adaml
Any guide book will give the area, popula-
tion, amusements, best hotels (or the least ob-
jectionable ones), summary of history and the
more important exports. But no one has ever
attempted to tell of the soul of these islands-






ISLANDS


or even of the individuality of each, which is
very real and very distinct. Some day this
will be done, and the telling will be very won-
derful, and will use up most of the superlatives
in our language. For my part I may only
search my memory for some little unimportant
scene which lives again when the name of the
island is spoken-and string these at random
on pages, like the chains of little scarlet and
black sea-beans which glisten in the fingers of
the negresses, held up in hope of sale from
their leaky boats, rocking on the liquid emerald
around the steamer.
ST. THOMAS, oR HOW I WAS TAUGHT TO
CATCH LIZians BY A DANISH FLAPPE.-
Nearly a week had passed since we began to
exchange a sleety winter for the velvety tropics,
to traverse the latitude spectrum of ocean from
drab-gray to living turquoise. As on every trip,
it was early morning when the long undulating
profile of St. Thomas reared itself lazily from
the sea, and almost at once, flocks of great-
winged booby-gannets began to wheel and veer
around the ship, banking in a way to make an
aviator's blood leap.
From a dusky monochrome the land resolved





JUNGLE PEACE


into shades, and slowly into colors-gray vol-
canic rocks, dry yellow turf and green patches
of trees. Then contours became traceable,
smooth rounded shoulders of hills frayed out
into jagged strata, with the close-shaven fur of
bushes and shrubs, and occasional tall slender
palms reminding one of single hydroids on the
sargasso fronds. A thread of smoke drifting
free from a palm grove was the first sign of
life, and after a few minutes of twisting and
turning, the steamer nosed out her circuitous
channel, and from the very heart of the island
the great crater harbor opened before us.
The beautiful hills rolled up and upward, and
to their feet Charlotte Amalie, crowned with
Bluebeard's castle, clung obliquely, her streets
climbing with astonishing steepness. The little
town was newly roofed, all the picturesque old
red ones having been ripped off in the last hur-
ricane. The houses were as flat, quite as like
cardboard theatrical scenery as ever.
At the sight of a distant flag I endeavored
to thrill patriotically at the thought that this
island was now a part of the United States. I
would have been more successful, however, if I
could have recalled the vision of some fellow






ISLANDS


countryman in far distant time, landing on these
slopes and taking possession by right of dis-
covery. Even if some burly, semi-piratical
American adventurer had annexed it for his
president by feat of arms, my blood would have
flowed less calmly than it did at the thought of
so many millions of dollars paid as droit de
possession. However, a tropic bird flew past
and put the lesser matter out of mind.
As always, near the wharf thrived the same
little open bar-room, with its floral-bedecked
mirrors, selling good beer and vile soda. Aside
from a flag here and there, the only sign of
the change of nationality was several motor-
cycles with side cars which American soldiers
drove like Jehu through the narrow streets, hus-
tling natives and their tiny carts and ponies to
one side, and leaving enduring trains of gasoline-
scented dust. A few minutes' walk up one of
the steep streets and all was quiet and unhur-
ried, and the sense of a yet undigested posses-
sion, of embarrassing novelty of purchase,
slipped aside and we knew that St. Thomas
*was still the unspoiled little island which the
slow mellowing growth of West Indian evolu-
tion had made it. We climbed slowly up the


__





JUNGLE PEACE


steep road toward Mafolie, and behind us the
glory of this wonderful island unfolded and
spread, the roofs of the town shifting into
strange geometric figures, and the harbor circle
widening. We passed pleasant sunburned
Danes and negroes driving tiny burros laden
with small fagots and with grass. At one turn
a tamarind tree was in full blossom, and here
were gathered all the hummingbirds and butter-
flies of the island, or so it seemed. At last we
reached a ravine, dry as everything else at this
season on the island, and walked slowly up it,
catching butterflies. They were in great num-
bers and gayly colored. The strangest sight
was hundreds of large, brown millipedes cling-
ing to the stems of bushes and small trees,
apparently finding more moisture in the steady
tradewinds than in the soil, which even under
large stones, was parched and dry: dragonflies
were abundant, but the dominant forms of in-
sect life were butterflies and spiders.
The road wound over the top of the ridge
and from its summit we looked down on the
other half of the island. No house or trace of
cultivation was visible and the beauty of the
view was beyond adequate description. Roll-





ISLANDS


ing, comfortably undulating hills were below us,
and in front a taller, rounded one like the head of
some wearied tropical giant. Beyond this, a long
curved arm of richest green had been stretched
carelessly out into the sea, inclosing a bay,
which from our height, looked like a small pool,
but such a pool as would grace a Dunsany tale.
It was limpid, its surface like glass and of the
most exquisite turquoise. Its inner rim was of
pure white sand, a winding line bounding tur-
quoise water and the rich, dark green of the
sloping land in a flattened figure three. I never
knew before that turquoise had a hundred tints
and shades, but here the film nearest the sand
was unbelievably pale and translucent, then a
deeper sheen overlaid the surface, while the
center of the pool was shaded with the inde-
scribable pigment of sheer depth. In a great
frame of shifting emerald and cobalt, set a shin-
ing blue wing of a morpho butterfly and you
can visualize this wonder scene.
Outside the encircling green arm, the water
of ocean glowed ultramarine in the slanting sun-
light, and stretched on and on to the curving
horizon of Atlantis. The scene seemed the
essence of peace, and to the casual glance hardly





JUNGLE PEACE


a cloud moved. I sat for a long time and let
every part of my retina absorb the glory of
colors. Soon motion and life became apparent.
Shadows shifted softly across the surface, bring-
ing hues of delicate purplish blue, memory tints
of open ocean, and against these darkened tones
a thousand specks of white glowed and inter-
weaved like a maze of motes in a shaft of sun-
light. In imagination we could enlarge them to
a swarm of silvery bees, and then my glasses
resolved them into gannets-great sea birds
with wings six feet from tip to tip-an astound-
ing hint of the actual distance and depth below
me of this pool-like bay. An hour later the
sunlight left the turquoise surface, and its blue-
ness darkened and strengthened and became
opaque, although it was a long time before
sunset, and the ocean beyond kept all its bril-
liance.
My eye was drawn to two tiny dots on the
sandy rim. I could just make out that they
were moving and guessed them to be dogs or
chickens. The glasses made magic again and
split up each group into a triumvirate of little
burros which trotted along, and presently turned
into an invisible side trail. Perhaps the most





ISLANDS


fascinating discovery of motion was that of the
water's edge. To the eye there were neither
waves nor ripples, but careful scrutiny through
the strong prisms showed a rhythmical approach
and receding, a gentle breathlike pulsation which
regularly darkened and uncovered a thread of
sand. I forgot the busy little town on the other
side of the island, the commerce and coaling
and the distant echo of war, and giving a last
look at the tarnished turquoise pool, the resent-
ment of financial acquisition of such beauty
softened, and I felt glad that I had indirectly
some small tithe of ownership, as well as the
complete memory monopoly of the glories of
this passing day.
As I made my way down the ravine, the
fascinating island lizards scrambled about or
watched me knowingly from rock or tree-trunk.
As usual I wrecked my net in striving to sweep
them into it, and bruised my fingers in vain
efforts to seize their slender forms. Rarely I
succeeded; usually I found but a bit of tail in
my fingers, or a handful of loose bark, while,
just out of reach, they would halt and look me
over derisively with their bright intelligent eyes.
At the roadside I came suddenly upon a little





JUNGLE PEACE


Danish girl of about twelve years, dancing
excitedly with a lizard dangling from the end of
a slender grass stem.
Her blue eyes flashed with excitement, her
yellow pigtail flew wildly about as she danced
and backed away, fearful of touching the little
lizard, and yet too fascinated to drop it and
allow it to escape. I took it up and found it
had been captured with a neat slip noose. She
said it was easy to catch them and showed me
how, and before I reached the wharf I had a
dozen of the interesting little chaps stored in
various pockets. Thus after years of effort a
little Danish school girl solved my problem
for me. Acting on this hint I tried fine
hair wire, but nothing proved as effective
as the thin, pliant but strong stems of
grass.
It is surprising how difficult it is to touch
these little reptiles and yet how easy to noose
them. At the approach of hand or net they are
off faster than the eye can follow, yet they are
merely interested in the waving grass. Even
when by an awkward motion one flicks their
nose, they merely shake their heads or shift a
step or two. They detect no connection be-





ISLANDS


tween the moving grass and the more distant
hand that wields it.
Bound to the ground by their short scales
and four limbs, these small lizards are yet re-
markably birdlike in their vivacity and their
enthusiastic playing of their little game of life.
Every motion is registered by quick wrenlike
movements and by the changing play of colors
over their scales, while when particularly ex-
cited, they puff out a comical dewlap of yellow
and orange skin beneath their throat. Thanks
to my flapper acquaintance I am now on more
equal terms with the little scaly people of the
islands, and can study their puzzling color
problems at close range.
Looking back at Bluebeard's and Black-
beard's castles from the deck of our vessel as we
slowly steamed from the harbor, some one asked
when the last pirate plied his trade. I looked
ashore at the fort and guns, I listened to the
warning bugle, I watched the scattered lights
vanish, leaving all of the town in darkness, I
saw our own darkened portholes and shaded
lights. As my mind went to the submarines
which inspired all these precautions, as I re-
called the sinister swirl in the Atlantic which





44 JUNGLE PEACE
had threatened us more than once on my return
from the battle-front, I could answer truly that
Bluebeard and his ilk were worthily represented
at the present day. Indeed, of the two enemies,
I found much more to condone in the ignorance
and the frank primitive brutality of the pirate
of past centuries, than in the prostituted science
and camouflaged kultur of the teutonic ishmaelite
of today.
ST. KITTS, A PLUNGE, EXPLORATION AND
MONKEYS.-I came on deck at daybreak and
found the sea like a mirror. Even the clouds
were undisturbed, resting quietly in the moun-
tain valleys of St. Eustatius, and on the upper
slopes of St. Kitts in the distance. The tropical
morning was a lazy one, and the engines seemed
to throb in a half-somnolent manner. I folded
up into a deck chair and idly watched the beau-
tiful profile of the island astern.
1 Suddenly the sea became alive with virile
beings-curving steel-gray bodies which shot
forth like torpedoes from some mighty battery.
I thrilled in every fiber and the sloth of the
tropics fell from me as if by a galvanic shock:
the dolphins had come Usually they appear
in their haunts between Dominica and Marti-






ISLANDS


nique or off the latter island, but here they were
in dozens, leaping for breath with the regularity
of machinery. Now and then the spirit of play
would possess one and he vaulted high in air,
ten feet above the surface, twisted and fell
broadside with a slap which could be heard a
half-mile away. Then several simultaneously
did the same thing. A school would come close
alongside, slacken speed to that of the vessel,
and now and then dive beneath and appear off
the opposite quarter. Another trick was for one
or two to station themselves just ahead of the
bow and remain motionless, urged on by the
pressure of the water from behind. It was
very unexpected and very splendid to have this
battalion of magnificent cetaceans, bursting with
vital energy and fullness of life, injected with-
out warning into the calm quiet of this tropical
sea.
We anchored off Basseterre and waited in
vain for the doctor. There seemed no chance of
landing for some time, so several of us dived
off and swam about the ship for an hour. The
joy of this tropical water is something which
can be communicated only by experience. It
was so transparent that in diving one hardly


_ __





JUNGLE PEACE


knew the moment he would enter it. Paddling
along just beneath the surface, there was a con-
stant temptation to reach down and grasp the
waving seaferns and bits of coral which seemed
only just out of reach, whereas they were a
good thirty feet beneath. Whether floating idly
or barging clumsily along in the only fashion
possible to us terrestrial humans, we longed for
the sinuous power of the dolphins, whose easy
sculling imparts such astounding impetus. Now
and then we saw a deep swimming fish, but the
line of envious fellow voyagers along the ship's
rail were denied all this joy by reason of their
fear of sharks. They had read in many books
and they had listened to many tales, and they
do not know what we shared with the little nig-
ger boys who dive for pennies-the knowledge
that the chance of an attack from a shark is
about equal to that of having your ears sewed up
by devil's darning needles. Over all the world
I have swum among sharks.from Ceylon to the
Spanish Main I have talked intimately with
scores of native captains and sailors and learned
the difference between what they tell to the
credulous tourist and what they believe in their
hearts.








































Sunset in the West Indies





ISLANDS


In time the St. Kitts doctor arrived, and, as
he rowed past, looked at us critically as if he
suspected us of infecting the waters of the sea
with some of those mysteriously terrible diseases
which he is always hoping for on the ship's
papers, but never seems to find.
Walking hastily through the town, we reached
the first of the great sugar-cane fields, and skirt-
ing these diagonally came ever nearer the slop-
ing base of the high land. Ravines are always
interesting for they cannot be cultivated, and it
was up one of these lava and water-worn gullies
that we began to climb Monkey Hill. We went
slowly, for there were many absorbing things
on the way. Palm swifts swooped about, while
noisy kingbirds gleaned as industriously but
with shorter flights. Heavy-billed anis wha-
leeped and fluttered clumsily ahead of us; honey
creepers squeaked and small black finches
watched us anxiously. From a marshy pool
half a dozen migrating sandpipers flew up and
circled down to the shore. Every shrubby field
was alive with butterflies of many kinds and the
vigorous shaking of each bush yielded excellent
harvests of strange insects which fell into the
open umbrella held beneath. In a grove of





JUNGLE PEACE


wild mango and acacias were hosts of green
filigree butterflies, dropping and swirling from
the foliage like falling leaves, the comparison
being heightened by the brown spots, like
fungus blotches, which were etched upon their
wings.
Leaving the ravine we climbed over great
lateral shoulders of the mountain, grassy slopes
with bold outjutting rocks, and rarely a clump
of small shrubs, bringing to mind the lower
foothills of Garhwal and Kashmir. Higher
still came dense shrubby growths, much of it
thorny, seamed by our narrow trail, and
threaded here and there by glowing fronds of
golden shower orchids. Ground doves perched
on low branches and an occasional big pigeon
whistled past. From the summit a wonderful
view stretched out-the long, sloping green cane-
fields, the clustered roofs, and beyond the curv-
ing beaches, the blue water with our vessel rest-
ing at anchor. Now came a search for monkeys,
regardless of thorns and rough stones, for,
strange though it sounds, St. Kitts possesses
many of these animals. Whatever the accident
of their arrival, they are firmly established and
work much havoc in the small hours, among gar-





ISLANDS


dens and sugar-cane. Our efforts were in vain.
We heard the scolding chatter of one of the
small simians, and were preparing to surround
him, when a warning blast from the ship sum-
moned us and we packed up our collection of
insects and flowers, munched our last piece of
chocolate and began to clamber down the great
sun-drenched slopes.
MARTINIQUE, OR A NEW USE FOR AN EIGHT
OF HEARTs.-Columbus thought that this island
was inhabited only by women, and to this day
the market place bears out the idea. It is a
place apart from all the rest of the city. In
early morning, before the gaudy shutters were
taken down, the streets were quiet-the callous
soles of the passersby made the merest velvet
shuffling and only an occasional cry of the
vendor of some strange fruit or cakes broke the
stillness. When yet half a block away from the
market one became aurally aware of it. The air
was filled with a subdued hum, an indefinite
murmur which might as well be the sound of
tumbling waters as of human voices. It was a
communal tongue, lacking individual words,
accent and grammar, and yet containing the es-
sence of a hundred little arguments, soliloquies,





JUNGLE PEACE


pleadings, offers and refusals. After the aural
came the olfactory zone, and none may describe
this, so intermingled that fish and vegetables,
spice and onions were only to be detected when
one approached their respective booths.
The details of market life hold the possibili-
ties of epic description; the transactions of a
stock exchange pale into mediocrity when com-
pared with the noise and excitement when a
sixpence changes hands between Martinique
negresses.
All the sales in the market were of the small-
est quantities; little silver was seen, pennies,
ha'pennies and sous composing all the piles of
coppers. The colors of the fruits were like
flowers, melons white with a delicate fretwork
of green; brilliant touches of red peppers like
scarlet passion flowers; tiny bits of garlic lilac-
tinted. The fish had the hues of sunsets on their
scales, and the most beautiful, the angelfish,
were three for a penny, while the uglier, more
edible ones, were sixpence each. Beauty was
rated at inverse value here.
Around and around the iron fence which
bounded the market place, paced a pitiful pair
-a tiny black mite who could not have passed





ISLANDS


three summers, leading by the hem of an ample
black skirt an old blind woman. After several
halting steps they would hesitate and the gaunt
hand would be thrust through the bars begging
for market refuse. Once the gods were kind
and a bit of melon and a spotted mango were
given, but more often alms was asked of an
empty stall, or within sight only of a tethered
duck or chicken. Some of the gifts were no
better than the garbage over which the pair
stepped.
We sat in chairs in a tiny pharmacist shop-
the artist and I-and were at once the center
of a chattering, staring throng, a kaleidoscope
of shifting colors. We shoved and dismissed to
no avail, then the owner of the shop with a
gentle "permitte-moi threw a pailful of not-
too-clean" water over the crowd, including the
artist and myself. The mob scattered shriek-
ing and for a short time the surrounding space
was open. Soon a larger crowd gathered, with
the still dripping units of the first assemblage
smiling expectantly in the offing, hovering at a
safe distance. The second dispersal had a legal
origin; the market policeman stole quietly along
the wall of the shop and hurled himself like a





JUNGLE PEACE


catapult, butting goatlike into the heart of the
crowd. A half-dozen fat negresses toppled over,
and cassava, tin cups and stray fishes flew about.
Even those who lost all their purchases showed
no resentment but only a roaring appreciation
of the joke. In this rush we were almost
upset with the crowd, and we began to look
forward with dread to any more strenuous de-
fense of our comfort.
The little French mulatto pharmacist who was
responsible for the occasional joyful outbursts
of eau, seemed to profit by our presence, for a
number of interested onlookers who had pushed
into the shop to watch us from behind, when
cornered and hailed by the irate owner, stam-
meringly asked for some small thing, by the
purchase of which they bought their liberty.
The regular business of this little shop alone
was worthy one's whole attention. A prescrip-
tion was being pounded up in a mortar and
when the clerk reached out for a scoop and for
something to scrape the sides clean, an eight of
hearts was the nearest and with this the chemi-
cals were mixed. Within the next fifteen min-
utes eight or ten different prescriptions, pow-
ders and crystals were measured, shaken, mixed





ISLANDS


and scraped by the same eight of hearts, and
the combination of ingredients which the last
purchaser obtained must surely have had some
radical effect on his system-salubrious or other-
wise.
Then came the unusual one-the super person
who is always to be discovered sooner'or later.
Externally she was indistinguishable from the
host of her sisters. She was garbed in a
wrapper, flowing and reaching the ground,
purple, and pocked with large white spots. A
diminutive turban of yellow and red madras
was surmounted by an ancient and crownless
straw hat, but at the first word she was revealed.
A British subject, she was here at the eruption
fifteen years ago. That day she and one of her
daughters happened to be far away from St.
Pierre. When the explosion came, she was out-
side the danger zone, but her husband, son and
other daughter were burned to death. She re-
gretted the impoliteness of the French here and
apologized for them for crowding us. Later
she brought a gift of rose bananas to Mary
Hammond, saying that Americans had given
her food and clothes when she lost everything.
The crowd was curious, thoughtless, selfish,





54 JUNGLE PEACE
with the dominant hope a laugh at some one's
expense. Here was one who sought us out,
who left unguarded her little tray of bananas
and garlic to speak a word of thanks, to present
a handful of fruit which in her station was a
munificent gift, and who was satisfied and
grateful with our sincere appreciation. She has
sisters in graciousness over all the .world, but
they are rare and widely scattered, like the
Akawai Indian squaw who gave me her last
cassava, like the wrinkled Japanese crone who
persuaded her son to become one of my best
servants, like the wife of the headman of an
isolated village in Yunnan, who from among
her sodden, beastlike neighbors came forth and
offered fowls and vegetables with a courteous
spirit worthy of any station in life.
ST. LUCIA, A STUDY IN CONTRASTS.-Each
time I have visited Castries it has seemed more
somber and less pleasant. It is colorless be-
cause it is full of coal and no change of weather
brings amelioration. When the sun fills the air
with a blinding glare and palpitating heat
waves (as it occasionally does), each step raises
a cloud of coal dust, and when the tropical rain
falls in a steady downpour (as it usually does),





ISLANDS


the whole world seems covered with coal mud, as
if about to dissolve into some carboniferous
slime.
This is an important military and coaling
station, which perhaps explains much. Mili-
tary exigency compelled me to procure a special
pass from the Chief of Police to paddle about
its dreary streets, and which strictly forbade
my climbing the comparatively clean and at-
tractive mountains beyond these streets. As a
coaling station I am sure of its success and
popularity, for the coal carriers who comprise
most of the natives, have apparently no time
to wash between steamers. So intensive was
the grime that the original dark hue of their
skins offered no camouflage to the anthracite
palimpsest which overlaid it. Such huge negro
women, such muscles, such sense of power, I
had never before sensed. I should dislike, were
I an official of St. Lucia, to take any decided
stand on an anti-feininine platform. So satu-
rated are the people in coal, such is their lack
of proper perspective of this material, they seem
actually to be unconscious of its presence. Re-
turning on board, one passes the Seaview Hotel,
about which coal is piled to a much greater





JUNGLE PEACE


height than the roof. Such abstraction is
worthy of mention at least.
Amid the memory of all the dirt and damp,
dull sadness, two things were unforgettable, as
untouched diamonds glisten in their matrix of
wet blue clay. Amid sodden clothes, unwashed
hands and bestial faces, a trayful of rainbow
fishes gleamed opalwise-coral, parrot and
angelfish, all awaiting some unsavory purchaser.
Then came the little French negress, selling
fans, out of the ruck of sexless bearers of coal.
When we answered her appeal with a Non
merci," her face lighted up at the courtesy of
the words; "Voyons!" said she, come c'est
gracieusement refuse! No mortal could have
resisted buying her wares after such delicate
sentiment.
About five in the afternoon we parted from
'the gritty wharf and steamed for hour after
hour along the shore. We forgot the poor,
filthy, ill-mannered coal carriers, and the thought
of the misery and squalor of the town passed
with its vanishing, still clacdin its cloak of rain.
As the natives appeared to us so inferior to
those of the other islands, so by some law of
compensation the coast was revealed correspond-





ISLANDS


ingly beautiful. At four bells the sun sank on
the side away from the island, in a blaze of
yellow and orange with one particular cloud
touching the water line with flame color, as if a
mighty distant volcano had just reared its head
above the sea, still in the throes of molten erec-
tion. On the opposite side were passing the
dark green headlands and fiords of the land,
while upward, high into the sky, there arose
now and then some tremendous cloud, on fire
with rich rose or salmon afterglow, or a maze
of other tints defying human name or pigment.
In front was the living blue water dulled by
the dimming light and above all the transparent
blue of the tropic sky.
Without warning, from out of the soft folded
edges of one of the filmy clouds, crept a curved
edge of cold steel, like some strange kind of
floating shell coming forth from its cloud of
smoke, and a moment later the full moon was
revealed, unlike any other color note in this mar-
velous scene. The icy, unchanging moon craters,
the more plastic island mountains fringed by the
wind-shapen trees, the still more shifting waters
and the evanescent cloud mist, all were played
upon and saturated and stained by colors which





JUNGLE PEACE


were beyond words, almost beyond our appre-
ciation. Tiny villages, fronted by canoes and
swathed in feathery cocoanut fronds, snuggled
at the foot of great volcanic and coral cliffs.
But the crowning glory was reserved for the
last, when we surged past the Trois Pitons, rear-
ing their majestic heads above all the island,
hundreds and hundreds of feet into the sky.
Even the moon could not top one, and after
cutting into sharp, silver silhouette every leaf
and branch of a moon-wide swath of trees, it
buried itself behind the peak and framed the
whole mountain.
A small wandering rain storm drifted against
the tallest piton and split in two, one half going
away down the coast and the rest passing close
enough to us to shower the decks with drops.
As it iell astern, it spread out fanwise and in
its heart developed a ghostly lunar rainbow-
the spectrum cleansed and denuded of all the
garish colors of day. At first we could only
sense which was the warm, which the cold side
of the bow, then it strengthened and the red
appeared as dull copper or amber buff, and the
violet as a deeper, colder blue, cloud hue. All
the time, even when the rain was falling heavi-






ISLANDS


est, the moon shone with full strength, and when
at last we veered away from this wonder island,
it was so high that there was no moonpath on
the water, but only a living, shifting patch of
a million electric wires, which wrote untold
myriad messages in lunar script upon the little
waves. From one fraction of time to another,
the eye could detect and hold in memory in-
numerable strange figures, and the resemblance,
if it be not sacrilege to make any simile, was
only to script of languages long, long dead-
the cuneiform of Babylon and the tendril spirals
of Pali.
Once a faint light appeared upon the distant
shore. Our steamer spoke in a short, sharp
blast which thrilled us with its unexpectedness
and the signal among the palms was quenched.
From the great things of the cosmos, from bril-
liant Venus, and from the north star low in the
sky, from the new splendor of Formalhaut, ris-
ing ever higher in the south, our thoughts were
forced back to the littlenesses of the world war,
whose faint influence reached even thus far to
break the thread of our abstraction.
BARBADOS, IN ECLIPSE AND IN SuN.-The
vagaries of a naturalist are the delight of the


__~I _






JUNGLE PEACE


uninitiated, and impress simple natives more
than immoderate tips or the routine excesses of
tourist folk. One's scientific eccentricities may
even establish a small measure of fame, or rather
notoriety. So it was that as I walked up the
landing stage at Bridgetown, a small ebon per-
sonality pointed finger at me and confided to his
neighbor, See de mon-de tall mon da-he
de mon who chase tree lizards in de cemetery "
"Yes, George," I said, "I'm de mon who
chased them with you two years ago, but this
time we shall catch them as well."
"Anyting you say true, Boss, I'se yo boy."
But as is always true in sport, certainty robs
it of the finest element of excitement, and our
successful stalks that afternoon with grass stem
nooses were less memorable than the frantic tree
circlings and grave hurdlings of two years be-
fore.
On our return from the cemetery a breeze
swept up from the sea, the palm fronds slithered
against one another, and I suddenly caught my-
self shivering. The moment I became conscious
of this I thought of fever and wondered if my
life-long immunity had come to an end. Then I
observed old hags wrapping themselves up; my





ISLANDS


eyes suddenly readjusted, I perceived that the
glaring sunlight was tempered; again the strange
mid-day breeze arose and finally I realized that
I was witnessing an eclipse of the sun on the
island of Barbados. The natives and the birds
and even the patient little donkeys grew rest-
less, the light became weaker and strange, and
until the end of the eclipse we could think of
nothing else. The most remarkable part to me,
were the reflections. Looking however hastily
and obliquely at the sun, I perceived nothing
but a blinding glare, but walking beneath the
shade of dense tropical foliage, the hosts of
specks of sunlight sifting through, reflected on
the white limestone, were in reality thousands
of tiny representations of the sun's disk incised
with the segment of the silhouetted moon, but
reversed, just like the image through the aper-
ture of a pinhole camera. I suppose it is a very
common physical phenomenon, but to me it
was a surprising thing to trace the curve of
the eclipse clearly and with ease in the sun-
beams on the pavement beneath my feet, while
my retinas refused to face or register the
original.
Barbados is very flat, thoroughly cultivated





JUNGLE PEACE


and said to be the most densely populated bit
of land in the world; all of which guide-book
gossip was discouraging to a naturalist. But
besides the cemetery which was sanctuary for
the jolly little lizards, I found a bit of unspoilt
beach, with sand as white and fine as talcum
powder, where dwelt undisturbed many assem-
blages of small folk. There were land-crabs
which had come to have at heart more affection
for the vegetable gardens at the beach top than
for the waters of their forefathers. They had
degenerated into mere commuters from their
holes to the nearest melon patch. The lower
part of the beach was that ever changing zone
-that altar upon which each tide deposited
some offering from the depths of the sea. This
will some day have a worthy interpreter, a sym-
pathetic recorder and commentator who will
make a marvelous volume of this intermittent
thread of the earth's surface, pulsing, chang-
ing-now showing as water, now as land-but
always vital with exciting happenings.
I sat for an hour on the upper beach and
watched the little native folk, autochthones who
for innumerable generations had been so loyal to
their arenaceous home that the sheltering mantle





ISLANDS


of its pale hue had fallen upon their wings
and bodies. Here were tiny, grayish-white
crabs, here were spiders, which, until they
moved, were not spiders but sand. And when
they did move, recognition usually came too
late to some fly, which had trespassed on this
littoral hunting ground. Tiger-beetles drifted
about like sand-grain wraiths, whose life wan-
derings lay between low tide and the highest
dune; veriest ghosts of their brilliant green
brethren farther inland. Ashen wasps buzzed
past, with compass and maps in their heads,
enabling them to circle about once or twice,
alight, take a step or two and, kicking down
their diminutive front door, to enter the slant-
ing sandy tube which for them fulfilled all the
requirements of home.
From an aeroplane, Barbados would appear
like a circular expanse of patchwork, or a wild
futurist painting set in deepest ultramarine; a
maze of rectangles or squares of sugar-cane,
with a scattering of sweet potatoes and sea
island cotton. I got a hint of this when I
motored to the highest point of land, and then
climbed the steeple of the loftiest church. At
my feet was the Atlantic with great breakers,





JUNGLE PEACE


reduced by distance to tiny wavelets twinkling
among the black boulders and feathery palms
which were scattered along shore. For more
than two hundred and seventy-five years the
church had stood here, and not to be outdone
by the strangeness of the little beach people,
the graveyard boasted the remains of a de-
scendant of a Greek Emperor, who long ago
had been warden.
But again our steamer summoned us and we
left the dusky natives with their weird legends
and the tiny island which they love, and were
rowed steadily out beyond the two miles of
shallow coast.
When we steamed away from shore that
night, no lights except those of the dining saloon
were allowed. Yet the path of the vessel made
a mockery of this concealment. The world did
not exist a hundred feet away from the ship
and yet there was no mist or fog. The out-
ward curve of the water from the bow was a
long slender scimitar of phosphorescence, and
from its cutting edge and tip flashed bits of
flame and brilliant steely sparks, apparently
suspended above the jet-black water. Along-
side was a steady ribbon of dull green lumi-





ISLANDS


nescence, while, rolling and drifting along
through this path of light came now and then
great balls of clear, pure fire touched with
emerald flames, some huge jelly or fish, or sar-
gasso weed incrusted with noctiluca. Every-
where throughout the narrow zone of visibility
were flickering constellations, suns and planets
of momentary life, dying within the second in
which they flashed into sight. Once Orion left
a distinct memory on the retina-instantly to
vanish forever. Perhaps to some unimaginably
distant and unknown god, our world system
may appear as fleeting. To my eyes it seemed
as if I looked at the reflections of constella-
tions which no longer swung across the heavens
-shadows of shadows.
Then four bells struck-silveryly-and I
knew that time still existed.













THE POMEROON TRAIL

RAM NARINE gave a party. It was already
a thing of three months past, and it had been
an extremely small party, and Ram Narine was
only a very unimportant coolie on the planta-
tion of the Golden Fleece. But, like many
things small in themselves, this party had far-
flung effects, and finally certain of these reached
out and touched me. So far as I was con-
cerned the party was a blessing. Because of it
I was to travel the Pomeroon Trail. But it
befell otherwise with Ram Narine.
It was, as I have said, a small party. Only
two friends had been invited, and Ram and his
companions had made very merry over a cooked
cock-fowl and two bottles of rum. In the course
of the night there was a fracas, and the face
of one of Ram's friends had been somewhat dis-
figured, with a thick club and a bit of rock.
He spent two months in the hospital, and
66





THE POMEROON TRAIL


eventually recovered. His injuries did not af-
fect his speech, but, coolie-like, he would give
little information as to his assailant.
And now the majesty of the law was about
to inquire into this matter of Ram's party, and
to sift to the uttermost the mystery which con-
cerned the cooked cock-fowl and the rum, and
the possibilities for evil which accrued to the
sinister club and the bit of rock. I was invited
to go, with my friends the Lawyer and the
Judge, and our route lay from Georgetown
westward, athwart two mighty Guiana rivers.
My mission to British Guiana was to find
some suitable place to establish a Tropical Re-
search Station, where three of us, a Wasp Man,
an Embryo Man, and a Bird Man, all Ameri-
cans, all enthusiastic, might learn at first-hand
of the ways and lives of the wilderness creatures.
After seven years of travel and bird-study in
far distant countries, I had turned again to
Guiana, the memory of whose jungles had never
left me. In New York I had persuaded the
powers of the Zo6logical Society that here lay
a new, a worthy field of endeavor, hidden
among the maze of water-trails, deep in the
heart of the forests. For these were forests





JUNGLE PEACE


whose treasury of bird and beast and insect
secrets had been only skimmed by collectors.
The spoils had been carried to northern mu-
seums, where they were made available for
human conversation and writing by the con-
ferring of names by twentieth-century Adams.
We had learned much besides from these speci-
mens, and they had delighted the hearts of
multitudes who would never have an oppor-
tunity to hear the evening cadence of the six-
o'clock bee or the morning chorus of the howling
monkeys.
But just as a single photograph reveals little
of the inception, movement and denouement of
an entire moving-picture reel, so an isolated
dead bird can present only the static condition
of the plumage, molt, and dimensions at the
instant before death. I am no nature senti-
mentalist, and in spite of moments of weakness,
I will without hesitation shoot a bird as she
sits upon her eggs, if I can thereby acquire
desired information. But whenever possible, I
prefer, for my own sake as well as hers, to pro-
long my observations, and thus acquire merit in
the eyes of my fellow scientists and of Buddha.
I hoped the Pomeroon might prove such a





THE POMEROON TRAIL


desirable region, and fulfil my requirements to
the extent that I might call it home for a sea-
son. So I accepted the invitation with a double
pleasure, for I already knew what excellent
company were friends Lawyer and Judge. As
a site for my researches the Pomeroon failed;
as an experience filled to the brim with interest
and enjoyment, my visit left nothing to be
desired.
Besides, I met Ram.
The big yellow kiskadees woke me at day-
break; my bedroom wren sang his heart out as
I splashed in my shower; and before breakfast
was over I heard the honking of my host's car.
We glided over the rich red streets in the cool
of early morning, past the thronged and already
odoriferous market, and on to the tiny river
ferry.
This was on Monday, but Ram Narine was
to have yet another day of grace, by a twist
in the nexus of circumstance which envelops
all of us. The Lawyer's orderly had failed to
notify his cabman that the Georgetown steamer
left at six-fifty instead of seven. So when we
finally left the selling, with a host of twitter-
ing martins about us, it was with sorrowful





JUNGLE PEACE


faces. Not only were the master's wig and
gown missing, besides other articles less neces-
sary from a legal point of view, but the ham for
luncheon was lacking. The higher law of com-
pensation now became active, and the day of
postponement gave me the sight of the Pome-
roon Trail. This delay solved the matter of the
wig and gown, and the ham was replaced by a
curry equal to a Calcutta cook's best. This was
served in the Colony House at Suddy Village,
where one ate and slept in full enjoyment of
the cool tradewind which blew in from the clear
stretch of the Atlantic. And here one sat and
read or listened to the droning of the witnesses
in the petty cases held by the local magistrate
in the courtroom below stairs.
I chose to do none of these things, but walked
to the sandy beach and along it in the direction
of the distant Spanish Main. It was a barren
beach, judged by the salvage of most beaches;
few shells, little seaweed, and the white sand
alternating with stretches of brown mud. I
walked until I came to a promontory and, amid
splashing muddy waves, climbed out and
perched where I ever love to be-on the outer-
most isolated pile of an old wharf. Scores of






































A Guiana Shore






THE POMEROON TRAIL


years must have passed since it was in use, and
I tried to imagine what things had come and
gone over it. Those were the days of the great
Dutch sugar-plantations, when plantations were
like small kingdoms, with crowds of slaves, and
when the rich amber crystals resembled gold-
dust in more than appearance. What bales of
wondrous Dutch lace and furniture and goodies
were unloaded from the old high-pooped sailing
ships, and what frills and flounces fluttered in
this same tradewind, what time the master's
daughter set forth upon- her first visit to tA
Netherlands! Now, a few rotted piles and rows
of precise, flat Dutch bricks along the foreshore
were all that was left of such memories. In-
land, the wattled huts of the negroes had out-
lasted the great manor-houses.
Out at sea there was no change. The same
muddy waves rose but never* broke; the same
tidal current swirled and eddied downstream.
And now my mind became centered on passing
debriss, and in a few minutes I realized that,
whatever changes had ruffled or passed over
this coastal region of Guiana, the source of the
muddy waters up country was as untouched now
as when Amerigo Vespucci sailed along this


_ _C~_____





JUNGLE PEACE


coast four hundred and twenty years ago.' I
forgot the shore with its memories and its pres-
ent lush growth and heat. For in the eddies of
'the wharf piles swirled strange things from the
inland bush. First a patch of coarse grass,
sailing out to sea, upright and slowly circling.
On the stems I could distinguish unwilling
travelers-crickets, spiders, and lesser wingless
fry. Half-hollow logs drifted past, some deep
and water-soaked, others floating high, with their
upper parts quite dry. On such a one I saw a
small green snake coiled as high as possible, and,
serpent-like, waiting quietly for what fate
should bring.
And now came an extraordinary sight-an-
other serpent, a huge one, a great water-con-
strictor long dead, entangled in some brush, half
caught firm and half dangling in the water.
Attending were- two vultures, ravenous and
ready to risk anything for a meal. And they
were risking a good deal, for each time they
alighted, the brush and snake began to sink and
allowed them time for only one or two frantic
pecks before they were in water up to their
bodies. They then had laboriously to take to
flight, beating the water for the first few





THE POMEROON TRAIL 73
strokes. For several minutes one loop of the
snake became entangled about a sunken pile,
and now the scavengers boldly perched in the
shallow water and fairly ducked their heads at
each beakful. Next came a white ants' nest on
a lichened trunk, with a multitude of the owners
rushing frantically about, scores of them over-
running the confines of their small cosmos, to
the great profit and delectation of a school of
little fish which swam in the wake.
Most pitiful of all was a tiny opossum, with
a single young one clinging tightly about her
neck, which approached as I was about to leave.
She was marooned on a hollow log which re-
volved in an arc while it drifted. As it turned,
the little mother climbed, creeping first upward,
then turning and clambering back, keeping thus
ever on the summit. The tail of the baby was
coiled about her mouth, and he was clinging with
all his strength. It was a brave fight and well
deserved success. No boat was in sight, so I
could not hesitate, but, pulling off my shoes, I
waded out as far as I could. At first I thought
I must miss it, for I could not go in to my neck
even for an opossum. But the wind helped; one
or two heavy waves lapped conveniently against





JUNGLE PEACE


the sodden bark, and I succeeded in seizing the
stub. As I reached for the little creature, the
young opossum gave up and slipped into the
water, and a ripple showed where a watchful
fish had snapped it up. But I got hold of the
mother's tail, and despite a weak hiss and a
perfunctory showing of teeth, I lifted her and
waded ashore. The last view I had, showed
her crawling feebly but steadily along a branch
into the heart of a dense thicket.
I climbed back to my outpost and dried my
clothes in the sun, meditating on the curious
psychology of a human which wanted opossums
and would unhesitatingly sacrifice a score of
opossums for a real scientific need, and yet
would put itself to much discomfort to save a
single one from going out to sea. Sentimental
weakness is an inexplicable thing, and I finally
made up my mind-as I always do-not to yield
again to its promptings. In fact, I half turned
to go in search of my specimen-and then
didn't.
The tide had reached full ebb and the sun
was low when I started back, and now I found
a new beach many feet farther out and down.
Still no shells, but a wonderful assortment of





THE POMEROON TRAIL


substitutes in the shape of a host of nuts and
seeds-flotsam and jetsam from far up-river,
like the snake and ants and opossum. There
were spheres and kidney-shapes, half-circles and
crescents, heads of little old men and pods like
scimitars, and others like boomerangs. Some
were dull, others polished and varnished. They
were red and green, brown and pink and mauve,
and a few gorgeous ones shaded from salmon
into the most brilliant orange and yellow. Most
were as lifeless in appearance as empty shells,
but there were many with the tiny root and
natal leaves sprouting hopefully through a chink.
And just to be consistent, I chose one out of
the many thousands piled in windows and car-
ried it high up on the shore, where I carefully
planted it. It was a nut unknown to me at the
time, but later I knew that I had started one
of the greatest of the jungle trees on its way
to success.
Ahead of me two boys dashed out of the
underbrush and rushed into the waves. After
swimming a few strokes they reached a great
log and, heading it inward, swam it ashore and
tied a rope to it. Here was a profession which
appealed to me, and which indeed I had already





JUNGLE PEACE


entered upon, although the copper-skinned
coolie boys did not recognize me as one of their
guild. And small blame to them, for I was an
idler who had labored and salvaged a perfectly
good opossum and the scion of a mighty mora
for naught. Here I was, no richer for my walk,
and with only damp clothing to show for my
pains. Yet we grinned cheerfully at each other
as I went by, and they patted their log affec-
tionately as they moored it fast.
Dusk was not far away when I reached Col-
ony House and the Lawyer and I fared forth
to seek a suit of pajamas. For the orderly
had with him both luxuries and necessities, and
so we went shopping. I may say at once that
we failed completely in our quest, but, as is usu-
ally the case in the tropics, we were abundantly
compensated.
We visited emporiums to the number of
three,-all that the village could boast,-and
the stare of the three Chinawomen was uni-
formly blank. They could be made in three
days, or one could send to Georgetown for most
excellent ones; we could not make clear the
pressure of our need. The Lawyer grumbled,
but the afterglow was too marvelous for any-





THE POMEROON TRAIL


thing to matter for long. Indeed, things-
wonderful and strange, pathetic and amusing
-were so numerous and so needful of all our
faculties, that at one time my mind blurred
like an over-talked telephone wire. My enthu-
siasm bubbled over and the good-natured Law-
yer enjoyed them as I did.
Here were two among the many. There was
the matter of the poor coolie woman who had
injured a leg and who, misunderstanding some
hastily given order, had left the hospital and
was attempting to creep homeward, using hands
and arms for crutches. Her husband was very
small and very patient and he had not the
strength to help her, although now and then he
made an awkward attempt. While we sent for
help, I asked questions, and in half-broken Eng-
lish I found that they lived six miles away. I
had passed them early in the afternoon on the
way to the beach, and in the intervening four
hours they had progressed just about two hun-
dred feet! This was patience with a vengeance,
and worthy of compute. So, astronomer-like, I
took notebook and pencil and began to estimate
the time of their orbit. It was not an easy mat-
ter, for mathematics is to me the least of earth's





JUNGLE PEACE


mercies-and besides, I was not certain how
many feet there were in a mile. By saying it
over rapidly I at last convinced myself that it
was fivethousantwohunderaneighty."
I gasped when I finished, and repeated my
questions. And again came the answers: "Yes,
sahib, we go home. Yes, sahib, we live Aurora.
Yes, sahib, we go like this ver' slow. No, sahib,
have no food." And as he said the last sentence,
a few drops of rain fell and he instantly spread
his body-cloth out and held it over the sick
woman. My mind instinctively went back to the
mother opossum and her young. The coolie
woman ceaselessly murmured in her native
tongue and looked steadily ahead with patient
eyes. Always she fumbled with her dusty
fingers for a spot to grip and shuffle ahead a
few inches.
Two hundred feet in four hours! And six
full miles to the coolie quarters! This was on
the fourteenth of a month. If my calculation
was correct they would reach home on the tenth
of the following month, in three weeks and five
days. Truly oriental, if not, indeed, elemental
patience! This planet-like journey was deviated
from its path by a hospital stretcher and a swift





THE POMEROON TRAIL


return over the four-hour course, although this
cosmic disturbance aroused comment from
neither the man nor his wife. I checked off an-
other helpless being salvaged from the stream
of ignorance.
From serio-comic tragedy the village street led
us to pure comedy. At the roadside we discov-
ered a tiny white flag, and beneath it a bit of
worn and grimy cloth stretched between a frame
of wood. This was a poster announcing the
impending performance of one "Profesor Ra-
bintrapore," who, the painfully inked-in printing
went on to relate, "craled from ankoffs" and
"esskaped from cofens," and, besides, dealt
with "spirits INvisibal." The professor's sys-
tem of spelling would have warmed the heart of
our modern schoolteachers, but his seances did
not seem to be tempting many shekels from the
pockets of coolie spiritualists.
After tea at the Colony House, I leaned
out of my window and watched the moonlight
gather power and slowly usurp the place of
the sun. Then, like the succession of light,
there followed sound: the last sleepy twitter
came from the martin's nest under the eaves,
and was sustained and deepened until it changed





JUNGLE PEACE


to the reverberating bass rumble of a great noc-
turnal frog.
In the moonlight the road lay white, though
I knew in the warm sun it was a rich, foxy
red. It vanished beyond some huts, and I won-
dered whither it went and remembered that to-
morrow I should learn for certain. Then a
ghostly goatsucker called eerily, "Who-are-
you?" and the next sound for me was the
summons to early coffee.
During the morning the missing orderly ar-
rived, and with him the wig and gown and
the ham. And now the matter of Ram Narine
became pressing, and my friends Lawyer and
Judge became less human and increasingly
legal. I attended court and was accorded the
honor of a chair between a bewigged official
and the Inspector of Police, the latter resplen-
dent in starched duck, gold lace, spiked helmet,
and sword. Being a mere scientist and wholly
ignorant of' legal matters, I am quite like my
fellow human beings and associate fear with
my ignorance. So under the curious eyes of the
black and Indian witnesses and other attendants,
I had all the weaving little spinal thrills which
one must experience on being, or being about to





THE POMEROON TRAIL


be, a criminal. There was I betwixt law and
police, and quite ready to believe that I had
committed something or other, with malicious
or related intent.
But my thoughts were soon given another
turn as a loud rapping summoned us to our
feet at the entrance of the Judge. A few min-
utes before, we had been joking together and
companionably messing our fingers with oranges
upstairs. Now I gazed in awe at this impassive
being in wig and scarlet vestments, whose mere
entrance had brought us to our feet as if by
religious or royal command. I shuddered at my
memory of intimacies, and felt quite certain we
could never again sit down at table as equals.
When we had resumed our seats there was a
stir at the opposite end of the courtroom, and
a half-dozen gigantic black policemen entered,
and with them a little, calm-faced, womanly
man-Ram Narine, the wielder of the club and
the rock. He ascended to the fenced-in prison-
ers' dock, looking, amid all his superstrong bar-
riers to freedom, ridiculously small and inoffen-
sive, like a very small puppy tethered with a
cable. He gazed quietly down at the various
ominous exhibits. A and B were the club and





JUNGLE PEACE


the rock, with their glued labels reminding one
of museum specimens. Exhibit C was a rum-
bottle-an empty one. Perhaps if it had been
full, some flash of interest might have crossed
Ram's face. Then weighty legal phrases and
accusations passed, and the Judge's voice was
raised, sonorous and impressive, and I felt that
nothing but memory remained of that jovial
personality which I had known so recently.
The proceeding which impressed me most was
the uncanny skill of the official interpreter, who
seemed almost to anticipate the words of the
Judge or the Clerk. And, too, he gestured and
shook his finger at the prisoner at the appro-
priate places, though he had his back fairly to
the Judge and so could have had none but
verbal clues. Ram Narine, it seems, was in-
dicted on four counts, among which I could dis-
tinguish only that he was accused of maltreating
his friend with intent to kill, and this in soft
Hindustani tones he gently denied. Finally,
that he had at least done the damage to his
friend's face and very nearly killed him. To
this he acquiesced, and the Court, as the Judge
called himself, would now proceed to pass sen-
tence. I was relieved to hear him thus re-





THE POMEROON TRAIL


name himself, for it seemed as if he too realized
his changed personality.
And now the flow of legal reiteration and
alliteration ceased for a moment, and I listened
to the buzzing of a marabunta wasp and the
warbling of a blue tanager among the fronds.
For a moment, in the warm sunshine, the hot,
woolly wigs and the starched coats and the
shining scabbard seemed out of place. One felt
all the discomfort of the tight boots and stiff
collars, and a glance at Ram Narine showed
his slim figure clothed in the looped, soft linen
of his race. And he seemed the only wholly
normal tropic thing there-he and the wasp and
the tanager and the drooping motionless palm
shading the window. In comparison, all else
seemed almost Arctic, unacclimatized.
Then the deep tones of the Court rose, and
in more simple verbiage,-almost crude and
quite unlegal to my ears,-we heard Ram Na-
rine sentenced to twelve months' hard labor.
And the final words of the interpreter left
Ram's face as unconcerned and emotionless as
that of the Buddhas in the Burmese pagodas.
And the simile recurred again and again after
it was all over. So Ram and I parted, to meet





JUNGLE PEACE


again a few weeks later under strangely dif-
ferent conditions.
Robes and wigs and other legal properties
were thrown aside, and once more we were all
genial friends in the little automobile, with no
trace of the terribly formal side of justice and
right. The red Pomeroon road slipped past,
and I, for one, wished for a dozen eyes and a
score of memories to record the unrolling of
that road. It was baffling in its interest.
The first ten or twenty miles consisted of
huge sugar estates, recently awakened to fever-
ish activity by the war prices of this commodity.
Golden Fleece, Taymouth Manor, Capoey,
More Success, Anna Regina, Hampton Court
-all old names long famous in the history of
the colony. In many other districts the Dutch
have left not only a heritage of names, such
as Vreeden-Hoop and Kyk-over-al, but the
memory of a grim sense of humor, as in the
case of three estates lying one beyond the other,
which the owners named in turn, Trouble,
More Trouble, and Most Trouble. Unlike our
southern plantations, the workers' quarters are
along the road, with the big house of the man-
ager well back, often quite concealed. The





THE POMEROON TRAIL


coolies usually live in long, communal, barrack-
like structures, the negroes in half-open huts.
This first part of the Pomeroon road was one
long ribbon of variegated color: Hundreds of
tiny huts, with picturesque groups of coolies
and negroes and a smaller number of Chinese,
all the huts dilapidated, some leaning over,
others so perforated that they looked like the
ruins of European farmhouses after being
shelled. Patched, propped up, tied together,
it was difficult to believe that they were habi-
table. All were embowered in masses of color
and shadowed by the graceful curves of cocoa-
nut palms and bananas. The sheets of bou-
gainvillea blossoms, of yellow allamandas, and
the white frangipani temple flowers of the
East, brought joy to the eye and the nostril;
the scarlet lilies growing rank as weeds-all
these emphasized the ruinous character of the
huts. Along the front ran a trench, doubling
all the glorious color in reflection, except where
it was filled with lotus blossoms and Victoria
regia.
As we passed swiftly, the natives rushed out
nthe shaky board-and-log bridges, staring in
N under. the women with babies astride of their





JUNGLE PEACE


hips, the copper-skinned children now and then
tumbling into the water in their excitement.
The yellows and reds and greens of the coolies
added another color-note. Everything seemed a
riot of brilliant pigment. Against the blue sky
great orange-headed vultures balanced and vol-
planed; yellow-gold kiskadees shrieked bla-
tantly, and, silhouetted against the green fronds,
smote both eye and ear.
We were among the first to pass the road
in an automobile. Awkward, big-wheeled carts,
drawn by the tiniest of burros and heaped high
with wood, were the only other vehicles. For,'
j the rest, the road was a Noah's Ark, studded
S with all the domestic animals of the worl4 t
pigs, calves, horses, burros, sheep, turkeys,
chickens, and hordes of gaunt, pariah curs.
Drive as carefully as we might, we left behind
a succession of defunct dogs and fowls. For the
other species, especially those of respectable size,
we slowed down, more for our sake than theirs.
Calves were the least intelligent, and would
run ahead of us, gazing fearfully back, first
over one, then the other shoulder, until from
fatigue they leaped into the wayside ditch. Thei-
natives themselves barely moved aside,.and wihe



















A Tropical Roadside


-~CI~





THE POMEROON TRAIL


we did not topple over more of the great head-
carried loads I do not know. We left behind
us a world of scared coolies and gaping chil-
dren.
The road was excellent, but it twisted and
turned bewilderingly. It was always the same
rich red hue-made of earth-clinker burned
under sods. Preparing this seemed a frequent
occupation of the natives, and the wood piles on
the carts melted away in the charcoal-like fires
of these subterranean furnaces. Here and there
tiny red flags fluttered from tall bamboo poles,
reminiscent of the evil-spirit flags in India and
Burma. But with the transportation across the
sea of these oriental customs certain improve-
ments had entered in,--adaptations to the gods
of ill of this new world. So the huts in course
of alteration, and the new ones being erected,
were guarded, not only by the fluttering and the
color, but by a weird little figure of a dragon
demon himself drawn on the cloth, a quite un-
oriental visualizing of the dreaded one.
As we flew along, we gradually left the vil-
lages of huts behind. Single thatched houses
were separated by expanses of rice-fields, green
rectangles framed in sepia mud walls, picked





JUNGLE PEACE


out here and there by intensely white and in-
tensely Japanesque egrets. Great black mus-
covy ducks spattered up from amber pools, and
tri-colored herons stood like detached shadows
of birds, mere cardboard figures, so attenuated
that they appeared to exist in only two planes
of space.
The rice-fields gave place to pastures and
these to marshes; thin lines of grass trisected
the red road-the first hint of the passing of
the road and the coming of the trail. Rough
places became more frequent. Then came shrub,
and an occasional branch whipped our faces.
Black cuckoos or old witch-birds flew up like
disheveled grackles; cotton-birds flashed by,
and black-throated orioles glowed among the
foliage. Carrion crows and laughing falcons
watched us from nearby perches, and our chauf-
feur went into second gear.
Now and then some strange human being
passed,-man or woman, we could hardly tell
which,-clad in rags which flapped in the breeze,
long hair waving, leaning unsteadily on a staff,
like a perambulating scarecrow. The eyes, fixed
ahead, were fastened on things other than those
,of this world, so detached that their first sight





THE POMEROON TRAIL


of an automobile aroused them not at all. The
gulf between the thoughts of these creatures and
the world today was too deep to be bridged
by any transient curiosity or fear. They
trudged onward without a glance, and we
steered aside to let them pass.
The grass between the ruts now brushed the
body of the car; even the wild people passed
no more, and the huts vanished utterly. Forest
palms appeared, then taller brush, and trees in
the distance. Finally, the last three miles be-
came a scar through the heart of the primeval
jungle, open under the lofty sky of foliage, the
great buttresses of the trunks exposed for the
first time to the full glare of day. The trail
was raw with all the snags and concealed roots
with which the jungle likes to block entrance
to its privacy; and, rocking and pitching like
a ship in the waves, we drew up to a woodpile
directly in our path. Standing up in our seats,
we could see, just beyond it, the dark flood of
the Pomeroon surging slowly down to the sea.
Seven years ago I had passed this way en route
from Morawhanna, paddled by six Indians.
Maintenant ce n'est qu'une memoire.
For centuries the woodskins of the Indians




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